Research


Among various other smaller projects, I am currently working on two major research projects that encompass a series of methodological and theoretical issues pertaining to the study of religions. In both projects I employ a comparative, textual, and historical approach in discussing the issues that arise through the theoretical postulations that act as the motivational element for further examining and analysing the major questions posed in each project.

Disciplinary Trajectories in the Study of Ancient Religions

My current research revolves around the disciplinary chasm encountered in the contemporary study of ancient religions. On the one hand, classicists and ancient historians have served the field of ‘ancient religions’ with their detailed studies, commentaries, textual analyses, and discussions. On the other hand, the hegemony of the North American and North European postmodern view of the category of ‘religion’ has raised some important and—more often than not—‘dangerous’ issues in the overall academic study of religion. However, both ancient history/classics and postmodern religious studies approaches seem to be somehow utterly isolated within their own disciplinary limits when it comes to the study of ancient religions. This research is situated at the crossroad of the two fields, attempting to bring together the two disciplines while simultaneously promoting criticisms and the centrality of methodological and theoretical discussions that are most of the times neglected by representatives of both fields.
 

Inventing Early Christian Anti-Pagan Discourse

This research aims at examining and further analysing how second- and third-century Christian authors responded to and utilized pagan theories of religion in their attempt to confront their contemporaries that adhered to the traditional religions. Rather than residing to the old premise that Christian discourse was merely a theological reply to pagan attacks based solely on theological grounds, this project maintains that early Christian apologists were working towards strengthening the belief of existing Christians by involving both dogmatical and theoretical principles that stemmed from both the pagan and the newly-formed Christian milieu. In this manner, authors like Justyn Martyr, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, and others invented a new line of defence and argumentation that is closer to theorising about religion as a category rather than only about promoting Christianity as the ‘true’ religion.